500 Illinois National Guard sent to U.S. Capitol for security, at feds request

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WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 15: VA National Guard stands outside the razor wire fencing that surrounds the US Capitol on January 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. After last week’s Capitol Riot the FBI has warned of additional threats against the US Capitol and in all 50 states. According to reports, as many as 25,000 National Guard soldiers will be guarding the city as preparations are made for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th U.S. President. (Photo by Liz Lynch/Getty Images)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Gov. JB Pritzker has activated 500 Illinois National Guard troops for security at the U.S. Capitol at the request of the Department of Justice.

“The U.S. Department of Defense has asked Illinois to assist federal and local agencies in this continued effort, and Major General Neely and I are ready to ensure that the state of Illinois continues its proud legacy of protecting our democracy,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Ultimately, we must root out the dark forces of racism, white supremacy and disinformation that have created this moment, but until we do that, our extraordinary troops will deploy with honor.”

The state says the National Guard soldiers and airmen are expected to remain at the nation’s capitol until mid-March.

“We are deploying these forces in support of civilian law enforcement based on threat-levels against the U.S. Capitol. These threats were assessed by the FBI and other federal agencies,” said Maj. Gen. Rich Neely, the Adjutant General of Illinois and Commander of the Illinois National Guard. “Our soldiers and airmen are committed to the defense of both our nation and our state. We have asked a lot of them in the last year and each time these men and women have answered the call and upheld their oath to defend and support the U.S. Constitution. I could not be more proud of these Soldiers and Airmen.”

Approximately 7,000 National Guard members from across the nation are assisting federal and local agencies throughout Washington D.C.

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